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Ships: Heavy Dropship
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/30/2021 08:58:40

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Galaxy Pirates-series clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 12 pages of content, and the deal also includes a high-res jpg floorplan of a medical shuttle. Let’s take a look!

This review was moved up in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my supporters.

This pdf contains a total of 6 different dropships for your perusal, and these include one-page ship-sheets that already include the respective ship’s stats filled in, serving as ready-to-use handouts. Additionally, a page contains a selection of paper-model stand-up style artwork versions of the ship you see on the cover; the floorplan of the medical shuttle is included in a version that specifies what’s where in the pdf as well, serving as a nice complement to the VTT-ready jpg, which omits that information and thus can be used for other contexts as well. The awesome artwork is presented, handout-style, on a one-page size, handouts-ready, as well.

Each of the 6 ships features a brief introductory note on how they are used, a statblock, some ship notes and sample names (nice!), and a Computers-table full of DCs (EDIT: Typo in pdf was fixed), so that’s what we get structurally.

Regarding the respective ship tiers, we’re moving in the lower tier-section, ranging from tier 1 to tier 3, with all classified as small shuttles. The standard tier 1 heavy dropship is powered by an arcus light power core, and sports basic short-range sensors; it features mk 4 armor and defenses, as well as a mk 1 tetranode computer; S8 thrusters provide proper perfect maneuverability. No drift engine for the basic version, and three cargo holds. Basic 20 shields are applied in a 3:2 ratio to forwards/aft : port/starboard. Offense capabilities would be provided by a forwards-facing coilgun.

For the tier 2 heavy arms dropship, the shields are upgraded to basic 30, with the shields on port and starboard almost as well-developed as those on front and back. Beyond the crew being better, the primary change here would be that the offense has changed to featuring linked coilguns on the forwards-facing side. The increased power requirement of shields is satisfied by a pulse gray power core.

The heavy armored dropship (tier 2 as well) places s single coilgun on a turret, and uses a micromissile battery as the forwards-facing weaponry. Shields are upgraded EDIT: and now properly classified as light 60. For this fellow, we go with only budget short-range sensors, but upgrade armor and defenses to mk 5. A mk 1 duonode computer is in this one; like the heavy arms dropship, it sports 3 cargo holds as expansion bays. Funny: There is a list of irreverent nicknames for these types of ship: From “Anvil Chorus” to “Aerodynamic Brick Express”—that got a chuckle out of me.

The remaining 3 ships are all tier 3: The medical dropship gets light 50 shields with relatively even distribution, the base mk 4 armor and defenses, and a mk 2 trinode computer; the only weaponry here would be the ole’ forwards-facing coilgun, and 3 medical bays underline the focus of this one.

The science exploration dropship (tier 3) has a pulse gray power core with a signal basic hyperdrive and advanced medium-range sensors, and a mk 3 duonode computer. With mk 4 defenses and armor, is suitable regarding defenses for a non-primary combat ship for the tier, and the shields (6 better on forward and aft) also make sense; Good crew quarters make sense for scientists and two labs plus environmentally-sealed chamber as expansion bays certainly make sense as far as the designated use is concerned. Offensive capabilities would be provided by a turret coilgun.

The recon dropship uses the heavy armored dropship’s offensive capabilities, and also has the signal basic hyperdrive; as noted previously, we have 60 shields, which are distributed identically to the science exploration dropship; we have a mk 3 mononode computer, and also retain the science exploration vessel’s good quarters. Defenses are upgraded to mk 5, and sensors are improved to advanced long-range sensors. The science-vessel’s labs and sealed chamber have been replaced with cargo holds. EDIT: Computers check DC table has been fixed.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting EDIT: have significantly improved, getting rid of some typo-level glitches. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard, which, while in color, remains relatively easy to print, and the ship-sheets are really handy; similarly, the inclusion of a deck plan in full color, including a VTT-friendly, key-less version, is awesome. Weird issue, probably only on my desktop PC, as I haven’t been able to duplicate it elsewhere: The colors of that jpg display correctly for a second when opened, then switch to their negative values. The VTT is tried this with got rid of the issue, though. Just figured I’d mention it. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length, and the dropship artwork provided is awesome (seems to be the heavy arms dropship, fyi).

I really appreciate the ships provided by Paul Fields and Jim Milligan; they take some time off my hands, and help when one needs to improvise; plus, I always maintain that SFRPG needs MOAR ships. And ship plans. Lots more. That being said, I am somewhat less enamored with this installment than with the best of the previous ones. A little bit more variation between the different types of dropship would have been nice to see. EDIT: As a whole, for the low price, and considering the neat plan + artwork, there isn't anything to really complain about, now that the previous hiccups have been taken care of. It's not the strongest of the installments in the series, but it does provide some neat bang for buck. My final verdict will be 4.5 stars, but in the end, I think this is closer to 4 than 5, hence I'll be rounding down.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Heavy Dropship
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Gear Book: Operative Weapons
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/30/2020 10:04:39

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was moved up in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreon supporters.

So, this book is all about filling a mechanical need. Namely, to add in weapons for trick attacking at all levels. Like the first of these gear books, this supplement begins by clearly laying out its design concerns and the issues it tries to fix.

The book begins with a clear analysis of the curve for the weapons, including correctly discerning that the 1st and 7th level weapon perform above their peers, and takes the Starfinder Armory content into account as well – and the design paradigms underlying those, including how they interact with core rules. E.g. switchblades, etc. keep the damage of knives while expanding the utility – design in breadth, if you will. This book, then, provides versions for the weapons to fill the gaps. It should be noted that not every level is truly mechanically distinct: A survival knife and a survival knife 2 and 3 are base-damage-wise identical, but have different levels and increasing costs – which is relevant for seals and fusions. Then again, e.g. the hunting knife 3 (level 6) does get a damage increase to 1d8. The tables provided in this book also clearly designate the weapons from the big Starfinder books in bolded script – very helpful.

And the pdf goes a step further and manages to include some differentiation between these upgrades – at level 14, we have, for example, a power sap! (I don’t know why, but a powered sap is such an outrageous concept, it just made me smile. I can picture the sap with this glowing tech-cylinder striking, then a discharge of steam as it kicks in…it’s weirdly hilarious to me…and yes, there is a level 20 neutron star sap.)

And the book goes one step further with this very transparent approach that lets even GMs not usually interested in the nit and grit of design discern what’s suitable and what isn’t, as the pdf walks the reader through the design concerns by weapon type. I very much enjoy this transparent design approach, as it a) shows the degree of thought that went into this and b) means that I don’t have to explain why the design decisions made are valid.

Anyhow, the pdf features separate tables by weapon type, and the pdf actually provides…drumroll errata for some of the…let’s say…problematic aspects of the Armory book. Like the damage output of e.g. gale batons. Two big thumbs up!

So, is all great? Well, almost. I have checked the entire array of tables herein (and yes, that was some serious work) and consider all components added to the game herein valid; but I also noticed a glitch in the one-handed advanced melee weapons table. EDIT: This glitch has been rectified!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules language level; with the glitch purged, this is a precise and well-wrought pdf. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard with nice artworks included. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Paul Fields and Jim Milligan deliver a really handy booklet that pretty much all operative players will definitely want to take a look. This pdf fills a hole in the game, and does so in a well-reasoned and clever manner. Math-wise, the content herein is well-balanced and performs in line with SFRPG. This is so ridiculously useful for operative players, I do feel comfortable in granting this my EZG Essentials tag; not having to switch weapon category is a big deal for me. EDIT: The glitch has been taken care of, which upgrades this to 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gear Book: Operative Weapons
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Gear Book: Battle Gloves
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/20/2020 22:09:24

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This little pdf clocks in at 4 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was moved up in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreon supporters.

This pdf fixes a very specific issue via equipment – this is its sole focus, and something to bear in mind. Armor Storm soldiers with Hammer Fist, and the glove is supposed to duplicate the effects of the item level of a heavy or powered armor. The core book is rather limited regarding its battle gloves, but it’s clear that you’re not supposed to have a paltry 1d4 punch in SFRPG, where the system very much requires the increase of weapon-damage.

This book, thus, presents new battle gloves, based on the one-handed damage charts; these are analog or powered, light weapons sans critical effect, and the table-header properly classifies them as basic melee weapons. One battle glove for every level is provided. All of the design-concerns above are concisely explained. Even better (a GOOD thing for high-complexity games like SFRPG), the reasoning is explained to the GM as well. And the math checks out as well – costs, damage, and item-levels are balanced so unarmed combat options hard-coded into the system are not invalidated.

This is per se great. But there is one downside to the battle gloves herein: Due to needing to adhere to the power-curve of unarmed attacks, there are a couple of battle gloves that have the same base damage, with the higher-level version just…costing more. This is a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”-situation, though, so I get the reasoning behind this decision. That being said, there’d have been an obvious solution. Critical effects and special properties. While easy enough to add and modify, these could have been used as additional balancing tools – perhaps exchanging lower damage for effects or the like.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are good, I noticed no significant hiccups on a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to the neat two-column full-color standard of the Galaxy Pirates-series. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length, and the color artwork is solid.

Paul Fields and Jim Milligan deliver an inexpensive, handy little supplement that makes Hammer Fist more viable. In that way, the pdf succeeds admirably. When it comes to differentiation between item-levels, the same can’t be said. This is a very focused item supplement, and in its niche, it does its job. Now, I’d usually harp more on the issue between item-levels and lack of differentiation, and round down from my final verdict, but this does have one crucial advantage: It costs a grand total of $0.99. What can you get for that nowadays? Where I’m living, you can’t even get a coffee at the student’s cafeteria for that. If you’re a student. Considering that, well, I do feel justified in rounding up from my final verdict of 3.5 stars. However, if you’re just looking for the items, and not for some help with the Hammer Fist ability, you may wish to round down.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gear Book: Battle Gloves
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Ships: Terran Frigate
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/18/2020 15:07:53

My personal favorite vtt compatible ship map for SF gaming. Loved it so much I worked it into my home game and made it the PCs ship. Excellent for giving more of a Nostromo / Star Trek scale ship and taking the game in those directions.

I cannot speak highly enough of this product!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Terran Frigate
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Ships: Slavern Shuttle
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/01/2020 09:47:08

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Series of pdfs that provides fully operational spaceships for your SFRPG-game clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial and SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was moved up in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreon-supporters.

After the awesome and massive frigate, we have a regular-sized ship type this time around, which comes, as always, in multiple different iterations. The base shuttle is a tier 1 Small shuttle with S6 thrusters and an Arcus Light power core. The ship has a basic computer, signal basic hyperdrive, an cut-rate sensors – but it does have mk3 armor and mk1 defences, and features three light laser cannons – two (non-inked) forward facing, one on the turret. Unless I miscounted, it has a little bit, but not much left in its BP-budget, which makes sense and allows potentially for minor modifications.

The slavern gunship builds on this for a tier 2 variant. EDIT: Previously missing bolding was added. Kudos for fixing that! The primary difference here would be an upgrade for the power core, which is increased to Pulse Brown – and promptly used to fuel two non-linked chain cannons, which replace the forward-facing laser cannons. The vessel maxed out its BP-budget, which I can appreciate particularly for specialist ships.

The tier 3 slavern raid leader transport is powered by a Pulse Gray power core, which fuels S6 thrusters, the ship features forward-facing fire-linked chain cannons and a turret with a high explosive missile launcher. With mk 5 armor, basic 30 shields and mk3 defences, but only cut-rate sensors and a basic computer, common crew quarters and cargo hold expansion bays, the design of the ship (which makes good use of its BP) oozes “raiding vessel.”

The fourth ship is actually not a slavern ship per se, but a turan shuttle they managed to obtain. This one clocks in at tier 5, powered by a Pulse Black power core, and equipped with S8 thrusters and a signal basic hyperdrive. While we have mk 6 armor and mk 5 defences, the ship shows its different makers in pretty much every aspect of its design: It has a mk 2 duonode computer, and its expansion bays feature only one cargo hold, but do come with medical bay and escape pods. The crew’s lives are more important here, and it also shows in the presence of good crew quarters, basic medium-range sensors, light 70 shields, and biometric locks. Offense-wise, we have two non-linked light plasma cannons on the front, and a third one on a turret. Turan efficiency is also represented by the use of BP here – unless I miscalculated, the entire BP-budget’s been used.

The variants provided include notes on famous crews for each variant, as well as lore-tables that list sample DCs for Computers checks so that players that do their legwork actually know what they’ll be up against. Also nice: The write-ups list sample creatures/cargo that they might be carrying – oh, and in case you were wondering, the pdf does explain the modus operandi of a slavern raid in a pretty cool piece of flavorful introduction. The supplement comes with the paper-stand mini-style print-out page, and a pretty darn impressive 2 pages that depict the vessel in gorgeous full color from both front and back. We also get a really neat and aesthetically-pleasing map-version of the interior of the vessel in full color, noting its sections. And no, I’m not complaining about map-labels! Why? Because the ship comes with a VTT-friendly jpg-version of the map that is 100% player-friendly. Kudos!

EDIT: In the first iteration, one of the pre-filled ship sheets (which are super handy as handouts for players!) was incorrect; this has been rectified immediately. Kudos for the swift fix!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a rules language level and on a formal level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the artworks and maps for the ship, both in full-color, are STUNNING. The pdf has no bookmarks, but doesn’t need them at this length.

Paul Fields and Jim Milligan deliver yet another cool installment in the series. With a couple of tweaks, starship combat can be super-fun, and after a few hiccups at the start, I’ve made it work in my game rather well. However, I a) don’t have the time to stat X starships, and b) SUCK at drawing at cartography. As such, this series has been a huge boon for my game, and the convenience offered alongside the cool maps always make these pdfs a welcome addition.  The addition of a player-friendly VTT-jpg is yet another plus for the series. EDIT: The updated pdf gets rid of my complaints. As such, I consider this now to be well in the region of a 5-star pdf. Kudos to the Evil Robot crew for the swift fix/update!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Slavern Shuttle
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Ships: Terran Frigate
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/06/2020 12:15:35

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the ship-series by evil Robot games clocks in at 16 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was moved up in my reviewing queue at the request of my patreon supporters as a prioritized review.

The terran frigate’s base version is a tier 6 Large destroyer that comes with light 60 shields, evenly distributed, with a  Arcus Maximum power core and a signal basic hyperdrive; weaponry-wise, we get heavy laser canon and heavy torpedo launcher on the front, light torpedo launchers on ort and starboard, and coilgun turret; on the defense, mk 4 armor and defences, basic medium-ranged sensors and a mk2 duonode. As always, the stats are complemented by a table that lists the Dcs required for the PCs to actually know about the ship’s interior and weaponry.

As always in the series, we get additional stats: We have the tier 9 elite custom frigate (powered by Pulse Orange) with better all-around defensive and offensive options, as befitting of tier 9; on the other side, a battle-damaged frigate at tier 4, and a tier 10 mighty blockade runner are also included; the latter deserves special mention, because it is not a linear upscale of the tier 9 ship, but has radically-different weapon-loadouts – in play, the difference in the ships’ focuses really shows. Much to my enjoyment, we get more, though: each of the 4 write-ups notes famous ships and provides a brief hook, as well as some name suggestions – when a ship is written off as a total loss and becomes a damaged frigate, for example, the name is usually changed to include something related to fire, like “Erebus”, “Fury”, or “Phoenix”; blockade runners, on the other hand, as vessels breaking through enemy lines, often get names/components like “Implacable” or “Steadfast.” It’s a small thing, but it shows care.

Now, as you know by now, we get a proper 1-page art-spread of the ship from both front and back (which you could also use to represent two different ships…just sayin’), but this time around, we also get a one-page artwork of a soldier. As always in the series, we do get filled-in versions of Evil Robot Games’ neat ship-sheets; we get the paper-mini-style page as well, of course…oh, and guess what? The maps of each of the two decks this time around are so massive, they take up two pages! I kind you not.

I can’t say enough positive things about the details of the maps: Here a chair that’s not straight, there a couple different tech stations/computers, different tables and engines, and yet all’s subservient to an overall aesthetic that makes the place feel organic and lived in. Crew quarters’ common areas has unified chairs and table-placement, but working desks? There you can see differences in tech. You can point on a part of the map and state “XYZ is here” – and it’s visible. The map does note weapons, gunnery stations, etc. in big fat letters…so boo? NO! It is my pleasure to report that the massive ship’s two levels both come with proper VTT-ready, PLAYER-FRIENDLY maps. I love it. Particularly right now.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good as a whole; apart from the persistent “DC’s”-typo for the plural form, I noticed nothing that would impede anyone’s enjoyment of this offering in a serious manner. The pdf adheres to a two-column full-color standard with a white background, making printing out of shipsheets, stats, etc. no problem regarding printer/toner-expenditure. The pdf has no bookmarks, but doesn’t need any. The frigate model by CGPitbull deserves special applause: The ship looks AMAZING, and Keera McNeill also did a great job – aesthetics-wise, this is a beautiful ship. The maps by Matthew Francella also deserve a big shout-out: They are full-color, and, as noted, are presented in player/VTT-friendly versions – huge plus in utility right there.

Okay, so let’s make that clear: Sometimes, size does matter. Case in point: This installment. Paul Fields and Jim Milligan have written essentially both a ready to use ship, and made a fantasy of mine come true. You see, I enjoy switching between starship combat and regular combat, I like running scenarios where you infiltrate a ship or hijack it, but map-wise, particularly larger ships tend to not exactly grow on trees. This handy book delivers a great map you can use as an adventure backdrop, a home away from home for the players (think of Firefly’s ship-centric episodes – this one could carry that sort of thing), and has the stats done for you as well. I know I’ll provide this one to my players as soon as their current characters reach the appropriate level…you see, I have a couple of nasty things planned…

So, is this worth the asking price? Heck yes! It also lets you send a sign: If you’re like me and want more BIG SHIPS, then do yourself a favor and get this. 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Terran Frigate
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Ships: Trogon Cruiser
by eric m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2020 18:10:18

Stat block are ok. Descriptions are ok. No deck plan for this one. :P

Love the cover art. Would have loved to see a deck plan.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Trogon Cruiser
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for being a customer and leaving a review. The Trogon are getting a new series of ships. The 3D renderings are done and the cartographer is working on a shuttle and freighter deckplan. I have drawn an outline for this Cruiser and it will receive a deckplan based on that outline and new textures being created for the Trogon ships. As older ships get their deckplans they will also get updated covers, layout, an art page, 2D pawns, play sheets for every stat block and VTT maps of the deckplans. Customers who have already purchased these ships will receive an update from DriveThruRPG when new files are available. Again, thank you for being a customer and leaving a review, they really help. Paul
Ships: Strike Fighter
by eric m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2020 18:09:43

Stat block are ok. Descriptions are ok. No deck plan for this one. :P



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Strike Fighter
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Ships: Pirate Fighter
by eric m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2020 18:08:57

Stat block are ok. Descriptions are ok. No deck plan for this one. :P

Lot of stat blocks with a little bit of art.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Pirate Fighter
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Ships: Katar Mining Freighter
by eric m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2020 18:07:44

I love the concept of this ship. Great execution on the layout of the ship. Love it.

Stat block are ok. Descriptions are ok. High rez pic of ship. Good deck plan.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Katar Mining Freighter
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Ships: Katar Light Freighter
by eric m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2020 18:06:53

Stat block are ok. Descriptions are ok. High rez pic of ship. Good deck plan.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Katar Light Freighter
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Ships: Katar Light Cruiser
by eric m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2020 18:06:19

Stat block are ok. Descriptions are ok. High rez pic of ship. Good deck plan.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Katar Light Cruiser
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Ships: Katar Heavy Freighter
by eric m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2020 18:05:56

Stat block are ok. Descriptions are ok. High rez pic of ship. Good deck plan.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Katar Heavy Freighter
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Ships: Katar Heavy Cruiser
by eric m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2020 18:05:38

Stat block are ok. Descriptions are ok. High rez pic of ship. Good deck plan.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Katar Heavy Cruiser
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Ships: Katar Gunship
by eric m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2020 18:05:18

Stat block are ok. Descriptions are ok. High rez pic of ship. Good deck plan.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Katar Gunship
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